This week’s featured author is Montgomery Mahaffey.
In an old 1985 Four-Runner dubbed “the Brown Beast,” Montgomery Mahaffey grabbed her first collection of stories and headed to Alaska on a whirlwind book tour that took her through more than just Alaska’s cities. Behind all of the festivals, coffee shops, and bookstores were the living, breathing beings that formed and informed the entire experience. Mahaffey is a storyteller by birth, given over to the trade through a long line of family, and true to the story-teller tradition, she found that she was given a story for each story she told. She collected the stories of the people she spoke to, and it was in those subtly discovered relationships that the real journey blossomed. It was no longer simply a book tour. It was a bonafied spiritual adventure. She wrote with a feverish intensity to produce a longer version of the story she had told across the wintery landscape, the tale of Ella Bandita and the Wanderer.
Ella’s character is powerfully committed to unearthing those things hidden within the human heart. She draws these out in each interaction, in the way that telling a story, or even listening to one, can awaken buried thoughts and reactions. The expansion of the tale continues to unearth and unfold even after publication. In a sense, the story of Ella Bandita and the Wanderer is never fully completed, for each of its readers will bring it to new life, just as it will play a part in shaping their life to come.
Mahaffey’s other works, Preacher Man and the Golden Pedestal and Why Roses Have Thorns are two children’s books set in the magically infused landscape that has become Mahaffey’s signature. With their seamless flow in and out of the spectacular, told with direct expression, Mahaffey’s novels are suitable for a wide range of readers.
In 2005 she was given the Individual Artist Project Award from the Rasmuson Foundation. She lives in Portland, Oregon, though her heart has traveled through many places to get there. She is currently at work on her next novel.
Montgomery Mahaffey’s books:
Ella Bandita and the Wanderer: http://www.amazon.com/Ella-Bandita-Wa…